During the COVID-19 pandemic, Swizz Beatz and Timbaland’s “Verzuz” platform have brought both celebration and honor for various artists, and a form of safe and free entertainment for those who’ve tuned in to the “battle” between two artists from the same genre. But a recent announcement regarding charges for the platform that has featured music icons and living legends on Instagram Live has had fans in an uproar, including when it comes to possibly paying to watch the Feb. 15 “Verzuz” battle between Anthony Hamilton and Musiq Soulchild.
The backlash came after an updated flyer for “Verzuz” — which has secured deals with Triller, Apple Music and more — was shared on Instagram on Monday, Feb. 14. Fans were surprised to read the second sentence, “To watch, sign up NOW for the #TrillerVerzPass (14-Day trial* included!! DON’T WAIT!!) LINK IN BIO!”
Fans in the post’s comments began calling Swizz and Timbaland “bogus” among other unendearing terms for charging viewers who have watched the usually free platform for over two years now.
“Ain’t nobody paying for this,” said one person, while another wrote, “Y’all gonna start loosing fans and money!” A third wrote, “Lost yo damn mind. Call me when you find it.”
Fans on Twitter also had a lot of say about the price change taking place during Black History Month. “Pay for Verzuz? during Black History Month?” wrote one person.
Another said, “Verzuz wants us to pay for a Valentine’s Day edition that’s dropping the day after Valentine’s Day. RIP Verzuz. But I hope the 1,386 ppl who watch this…enjoy it.”
Comedian Lil Duval chimed in to share his two cents, writing, “I f–ks with Anthony Hamilton and Musiq Soulchild but they should’ve used somebody else to start making people pay for Verzuz.”
After noticing all the chaos, Swizz Beatz hit back with a clip of Denzel Washington’s role in the film “Training Day.” Swizz explained that he was unaware of who announced it since he was out of the country in the caption.
“See y’all rite here tomorrow on insta,” he wrote before promoting the HD version on verzuztv.com. “I was out the country don’t ask me who did it. It’s fixed. Bless up. Love y’all.”
The “Verzuz” match-up between soul singers Anthony Hamilton and Musiq Soulchild is set for Tuesday, Feb. 15, at 8:30 p.m. EST.
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